Monday, September 25, 2017

Butterfly Shots Overflowing

Since I indulged in butterfly watching and photography i accumulated lots and lots of files on them. The better part is that i am only home on some weekends, and some of the time i still spend on my hoyas. I wrote it to sound like i am not happy with the butterfly photos! I am happy with photographing butterflies, but accumulating not so nice photos is different. The problem with me is that i can not just delete some shots which i anyway can not even post on FB or on blog. They are not decent shots, but i can't just part with them, clicking the delete button seems so difficult. And my external drives fill-up so fast just because of those insects and butterflies. When i look at those i want to post, it gets so difficult to choose. Hahaha, that is the confession of a not so good butterfly photographer!

Our area in the province is a bit hot for butterfly photography. And these butterflies do not appear in our garden in the early morning when they are just basking to dry their wings. I tried going out in the field to find them, but only a few are out early morning. I guess they are still hiding in non-accessible areas and just go out when they are ready to nectar or to find their mates. That time they are already very flighty, which fatigued my camera to the fullest. Can you imagine now the rate my drives get filled up? I told you so, i am a hoarder too, of bad photos.

What follows are just some of the few decent shots i culled from them, cropped mainly. They are all taken on Sept 3-4, 2017.

DARK BLUE TIGER, Tirumala hamata orientalis  Semper 1879
Nymphalidae; Danainae; Danaini

COMMON SNOW FLAT, Tagiades japetus titus 
Hesperiidae, Pyrginae, Tagiadin

DWARF CROW OR SMALL BROWN CROW,  Euploea tulliolus pollita Erihson 1834 Nymphalidae; Danainae; Euploeini

  GREY GLASSY TIGER, Euploea tulliolus pollita Erihson 1834
Nymphalidae; Danainae; Danaini

 COMMON LIME, Papilio demoleus demoleus
(Butterfly With Disability, BWD)

COMMON MORMON, Menelaides polytes ledebouria (male) 
Papilionidae, Papilioninae, Papilionini  

COMMON MORMON, Menelaides polytes ledebouria (female) 
Papilionidae, Papilioninae, Papilionini  

SAILER, Lasippa illigera illigera Escholtz 1821 
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Limenitidini

TYPICAL SAILER, Neptis mindorana ilocana C. & R. Felder 1863 
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Limenitidini

 TYPICAL SAILER, Neptis mindorana ilocana C. & R. Felder 1863 
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Limenitidini

 THREE-SPOT GRASS YELLOW, Eurema blanda visellia Fruhstorfer 1910
 Pieridae; Coliadinae

BUSHBROWN, Mycalesis igoleta igoleta C. & R. Felder 1863
Nymphalidae; Satyrinae

SCARLET MORMON, Menelaides deiphobus rumanzovia  Eschscholtz 1821 
Papilionidae; Papilioninae; Papilionini

GREAT EGGFLY, Hypolimnas bolina philippensis  ♀ Butler 1874
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Nymphaliini

GREAT EGGFLY, Hypolimnas bolina philippensis ♂ Butler 1874
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Nymphaliini

LEMON EMIGRANT, Catopsila pomona pomona ♂ form hilaria Fabricius 1775
Pieridae; Coliadinae

What follows are some of the better photos from the plenty of shots i am telling you about. These are cropped, but most of those left in my drives are not croppable. An instance is that after properly focusing, it suddenly leaps when you press the shutter. You are then left with a blurred photo or a twisted butterfly which does not sometimes resemble one! They are a bit funny, yet i really cannot fully delete them. 

 a crow, a common mormon and a lemon emigrant

 a common mormon which almost reaches the ceiling when flying

 an eggfly, a common mormon and a blurred skipper at the middle

 both common mormons

Following are examples of what i am telling you, i have a lot of these shots that cramped my files, yet i still cannot delete them.

Because it is too far, you cannot even see where the butterfly is, yet it will not be nice when cropped! So do you suggest that i delete all of the last 3 photos? 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day September

It is already September, the flowers have been blooming for quite sometime. In a little while they will produce pods, mature, dehisce and die. These are the annuals providing us much colors during the dry season. Of course you know that our dry season is still more of dry, it only rains when there are typhoons looming in the horizon, and the rains come when they come into the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

Yesterday i am supposed to visit the Orchid Show, but even at very early morning the sky looks so hot, and that was true till the sun sets. I decided not to view the garden show, i might go there tomorrow. The disadvantage is that the flowers in the landscape garden competitions would have already been suffering wilting, dying and so on after days of so much sun and heat. This morning i woke up with pitter-patter outside! It was raining, and it is because there is a typhoon almost near PAR. Oh it is already noontime and the sun hasn't showed up yet, it might be more wet tomorrow when it is already here. But never mind, i prefer the rains more than the sun and heat.

So here are some of our blooms in my yard in the province.

 The biggest flowering single plant at the side of our house is a blue Duranta erecta. It is already a tall bush maybe 12ft high with lots of blooms very well loved by insects mostly butterflies.

Orange emigrant, Catopsilia sp.

It is always teeming with butterflies during the rainy season. So my FB friends get lots of butterfly photos. How can you resist the view when lots of butterflies are fluttering and nectaring on a single plant!

Common Lime (Papilio demoleus demoleus) and Great Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina philippensis)

 Scarlet Mormon, Papilio deiphobus ledebouria

It is the biggest among the butterflies visiting the duranta. It truly is an eye catcher, but photographing it is difficult because the forewings flutter non-stop, and it doesn't stop long on a flower like the others. It only sips in one flower in a bunch then transfer to another bunch with a big leap. 

 the only hippeastrum that blooms several times per year, Hippeastrum reticulatum var Striatifolium (not sure of the ID) 

 Ixora javanica, favorite of the Common Mormon

Ixora chinensis

Turnera subulata

Turnera subulata flowers only in the morning, close at noon is favored by bees, stingless bees and a few small butterflies

 Wedelia trilobata a volunteer groundcover at the side street opposite the house is visited mostly by small butterflies like this Plains Cupid, together with the Grass Blues

 Impatiens balsamina

These volunteer Impatiens balsamina occupies most of the ground if we did not uproot most of them. Formerly, there also are pink and whites, but only the purple are dominant now, with a few whites. 

 Not many butterflies visit them, but this skipper seem to be glad with it. There are also a few of them which frequent this.


Impatiens balsamina at the left and Stachetarpheta jamaicensis at right.

Tigers and crows love these porter weed

Heliconia, this grows so fast and together with the crab claw we uprooted them together with their rhizomes. We dumped them, as they get invasive, but there still are a few plants somewhere not in the main clump.

I only have 2 Episcias, the red and yellow. I am trying to cross-pollinate them, but i forgot to put the labels, so next time i will.

 the yellow is more palatable for some munching larvae

 Weeds at the side of the road outside our fence, also visited by butterflies. Even if you are a weed, i will not uproot you if butterflies like to visit you, either as host plant or nectar plant. 
Vitex negundo

metallic blue insect

Vitex negundo is a big bush loved also by some butterflies in the wild. It is actually a medicinal plant whose leaves are made into cough remedies. There already are capsules of this in the market as Plemex and Ascof, already registered.

a blue butterfly on my hoya

Moths or a butterflies visiting my hoya blooms will not escape my camera. Be it day or night i am prepared to document you. 

So i hope you enjoyed visiting my garden blooms, just like those butterflies! Thank you so much my Blogger Friends. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Unusual Nature Drama

Most of us are familiar with the story of the praying mantis! We have long been taught or read since we were children that the female praying mantis eats the head of the male after mating. I have long been in this world for decades, always observing nature with my own eyes or with camera, and yet i haven't seen the actual scene. 

This morning in my own garden i watched, observed and documented them with my own two eyes. Yes i am a witness of a big murder, cannibalism or whatever you call that. But this is a fact of their lives. It is a normal phenomenon for praying mantises. Documents say it is not always that the female eats the male after mating. Some say that it is because they observed them in laboratory conditions, but it might differ in the wild, outside captivity. 

I am watching the duranta bush, which is always teeming with butterflies. They not only nectar on this but also do the courtship dance in this mini world. Sometimes, territorial displays of driving away different species happen here. 

I was just watching them with my camera at hand, when a movement caught my attention. The head of the green male praying mantis is already gone, but their abdomens are still attached. The female maneuvered the legs and ate them next, then the wings followed.

 it is now eating the wings

 The National Geographic documents say normally the smaller males are eaten, but in this case the male is also big, maybe as big as the female.

 Only the body of the male is not finished yet, the female is still clutching it, with the abdomen claspers also clasping still the male abdomen. The drama lasted for a few minutes. At the above stage i left it as it is a bit yucky to watch the female eating the whole abdomen of its mate.

 So after a few minutes i went back, and it is already finished eating its mate. It then bent its abdomen in an act as if it is cleaning its abdomen's tip! I didn't know it can bend at that very sharp angle, 180°.

 This is the final picture of the very satisfied female mantis, with its belly bulging from the big size of the male mantis. I can almost discern the green color mirroring the green color of the male it just has devoured.

 It now just stayed on the duranta twigs, immobile, very heavy tummy. It now is assured that the eggs developing inside are fertilized and will eventually continue perpetuating its species. That is nature fulfilled. Despite the almost bizarre drama that took place, their nature is such, whatever means to perpetuate the species longevity!